The first month of training is over! I’m sitting at Communitea Cafe in Canmore, enjoying an afternoon off and feeling that typical mixture of tiredness, sore muscles, and best of all, satisfaction from a good bout of training.
I’m also happy to report that I’ve been relatively injury-free this spring! Aside from avoiding any long runs or hikes, I’ve been able to jog, bike, ski, rollerski, and ski stride as much as I want. It’s crazy how much of a positive difference having all these options has on my motivation (it even makes those weekly recovery swim workouts fun!).
Now that I’m back to training full-time, I’ve been going through the usual process of finding the balance between pushing my limits while not going over the edge. It’s a fine line– I won’t get faster by being TOO cautious, but going too hard often has far worse consequences like getting really sick or injured for a long time. For me, one of the keys to this is working on really good body awareness, and being conscious of what my priorities are in training at any given time. For example, if I’m mid-way through a volume block I know that it’s normal (and probably good) to feel quite tired, but if I’m at the end of a rest week, I should feel really rested both physically and mentally, and super motivated to jump into the next block of training.
I should make it clear though, that this is WAY easier said than done. It can be really hard to take a rest day when all my teammates are training. It can be equally hard to motivate myself to get out and do that afternoon workout in the rain when I’m nearing the end of a hard training week. Although I feel like I’m improving in my body awareness every year, there are inevitably a few times where I will make the mistake of pushing too hard or not pushing hard enough. That’s okay though– like everything in life, training is never going to be 100% perfect, so I’ve just go to keep learning from my mistakes and improving. Aiming for excellence, not perfection.
Following the first couple of intro training weeks in Canmore, I headed to Silver Star, BC for an on-snow camp. Thanks to the awesome hospitality and support from Hollyburn ski club, I got in a great camp and was able to nail down some good technique concepts to work on throughout the summer. The skiing at Sovereign Lakes was some of the best spring snow I’ve been on in a long time, and as a bonus I was able to get down to Vernon for some sweet mountain biking workouts around Kal Park. In an added bit of excitement I accidentally ran flat over a rattlesnake while ripping down the trail at the end of a ride with Olivia (incidentally, also the first rattlesnake I’ve ever seen). Nothing like screaming in surprise/fear to get those heart rates up!
After the Silver Star camp I headed down to Penticton for another on-snow camp with my club RMR, this time skiing up at Nickel Plate nordic centre. This was our first team camp of the year and it was honestly one of the most fun camps I’ve ever done. We had all the girls in one house and the boys in another close by, and we had big “family” dinners at the kitchen table every night. We skied every morning, and headed down the mountain into Penticton in the afternoons for group runs followed by swimming in the lake. We were all really motivated to train hard, and we helped push each other to get the most out of the camp.
We also did a team dinner followed by poetry “secret santa” in the park. Everyone had to write a poem for someone on the team, and present it to the group. The poems were both funny and also really sweet (not going to lie, some tears may have escaped my eyes during Emma C’s song for Olivia– although I’m placing part of the blame here on being tired from training).
After getting back from Penticton, I took a short few rest days and then got into intensity week. The intensity went well, but by the end of the weekend I had to take an extra rest day because I was feeling much more tired than I should have been at that point in the training cycle. In hindsight, I should have taken the extra rest day after Penticton instead– a good example of making the mistake of pushing too hard. Fortunately, I’m feeling ready to go hard again and got in a good quality intensity session and strength workout yesterday. It’s a lesson I’ll take with me moving forward!